Monthly Archives: January 2013

Spotlight Search

OSX in the Spotlight Search integrated into the OS. Who Cares! At least that’s what I thought at first. Mac OSX Tiger sported a highly touted feature known as Spotlight. At first I was unimpressed, so now we have a little magnifying glass at the top of the screen that I can use to search for files. Sure it’s a bazillion times faster and all, but what’s all the fuss about? Then it hit me, Spotlight fever. *Search to open applications* Before long, I realized that it was quicker for me to search for “Disk Utility” than it was to open Finder, click on Applications, scroll to Utilities, expand it, scroll to Disk Utility, and double-click to launch. A quick Cmd+Space brought up the spoghtlight search, type “Disk Util”, wait for it to appear (~1 Second) and hit Cmd+Return to launch it.

Windows users, search the web for “Launchy” to have a similar experience. *Search to open files* Ok, so Launchy brings this same feature to Windows users, what else is there? Every dialog in OSX has search integrated into it. If you were in Excel and wanted to open your document named “finances.xls”, press Cmd+O to bring up the open dialog, go to the search box and type “finances” a list of files begins popping up almost instantly. Select finances and you’re done. No awkward clicking around directory structures looking for what you want. I haven’t even touched on Spotlight keywords, but wow! So, Mac users, try it out! It has changed the way I work! Oh, and Windows users… Keep the pressure on Microsoft, because once it’s integrated into the OS there your productivity can skyrocket as well.

Alcohol 120%

Alcohol 120% is an amazing CD/DVD management program with many great features. Like many other similar programs, it includes basic CD burning, image creation, and copying functionalities. However, its most unique and useful feature is called “Virtual Drives.”

Essentially, this feature allows you to create virtual optical drives on your computer, which your OS thinks are actual physical drives. For example, you can make a virtual drive on your computer, make an image file out of a CD, and then put the image file in the virtual drive to use the CD. This basically eliminates the need for physical CDs! It’s also useful because some software online can be downloaded as an .iso or other disc image file, and you don’t have to go through the hassle of burning a disc and putting it into your computer physically. Extra features include “opening and closing” the virtual drive, and pretty much anything you could do with a real physical drive. One caveat, however: ugly copy protection on some discs may stop this feature from working because it relies on the physical disc. However most discs work with Alcohol 120%, and this software goes far beyond what most disc management software apps can possibly do because of just 1 feature: virtual optical drives.

Apple iWeb for the Macintosh Apple

iWeb for the Macintosh is an easy to use WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) web designer, which allows you to easily build a family, personal or business website within minutes.

The software allows you to upload photo albums, and host your own slideshow, you can upload podcasts, which will then be automatically featured on the Apple iTunes Store. One of the best things about iWeb is its blogging capability. The software will create a beautiful looking blog, and automatically give you an RSS feed which is always updated. iWeb is currently in version 1.1, and is included in the iLife software package, along with many other great “apps” such as iPhoto, Garageband, iMovie and iDVD. People often say that the Mac lets you become more creative than the PC, and this software, which comes preloaded on all new Macs, proves them right. The software is extremely easy to use, but very advanced on the inside. A beginner could create a website which looks like it has been done by a professional. After years of using tools on the Windows platform, I am amazed at how far ahead of its time this software really is. It allows me to complete my work with no effort at all. The Apple iLife suite, which includes iWeb is available to buy from the Apple Storefor only $79, once again, the software comes free with all new Macs.

FTTP | Fiber To The Premises

FTTP or “Fiber To The Premises” is a broadband telecommunications system that delivers telephone, Internet and television through a single fiber optic link. Such a signal is referred to as “triple play” by the telecommunications industry. Verizon Experience stores have opened in over 100 New Jersey locations where customers can try out gadgets enhanced by fiber optics.

Billions are being spent by the industry to replace those prehistoric copper wires that currently deliver DSL and telephone connections to many homes across the country. Verizon now provides fiber optic service(FiOS) in five states, with connection speeds topping off at 50 megabytes per second. Their main competitor is AT&T. In 2006, Japan had more than seven million FTTH(fiber to home) customers. The country’s fiber optic growth spurt occurred in 2003-2004 where FTTH users in Tokyo can enjoy connection speeds exceeding six megabytes per second. Potentially, a signal traveling at 30 megabytes per second would allow real-time video/audio chats, minimizing delays. A saturation of FiOS in populated areas of the world will cause a paradigm shift in the way people consume information.

GeoTagging Pictures Using a GPS

There are very few cameras with GPS inbuilt and that can tag the picture with data on where it was taken. There is an innovative solution that a few people are using to geotag their pictures. They carry a GPS tracker along with them when they take pictures.

The cheap GPS tracker (around $80) notes the current location every few seconds. The pictures are taken and later when they are downloaded back to the computer, software like Robogeo or WMMX is used to stamp the location data into pictures EXIF metadata by looking at the time the picture was taken and where the gps was at that time. Note that the GPS and the camera time must be in sync to the second. You can later visualize the photos in Picasa/Google earth or on Panoramia

Spybot 1.4 Spyware Remover

If you are interested in a relatively useful Spyware removal program than Spybot 1.4 should be considered. Downloaded and used by over 28 million users, this software offers free Spyware removal in a quick efficient manner. Spybot 1.4 will scan your computer for ad-bots or for spyware which can sap your computer of speed or even jeopardize your personal identification. In addition, Spybot 1.4 can also detect a wide variety of keyloggers which as of late has been responsible for numerous ID theft reports.

The important thing to remember about Spybot is that it cannot detect 100% of all ad-ware or spyware on your computer. Thus it is important to utilize two or three spyware removal programs to fully ensure that your PC is running free and clear. Of which, I personally recommend Ad-ware by Lavasoft. It is also important to continually upgrade Spybot 1.4. The interface offers an easy method of updating new spyware threats which Spybot can then search and destroy. Updates are always free and are relatively efficient at keeping up with new threats. Please do not confuse Spybot 1.4 with Spywarebot which is not free. Spybot 1.4 can be downloaded free at Spybot Search & Destroy